She was making muffins.
Sandi Jackson, who has been unusually silent in the midst of contentious divorce proceedings with her husband, former U.S. Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr., suddenly felt like a brief chat.
“I’m so glad,” said Sandi Jackson, who had just learned her estranged husband had agreed to up his child support payments by $1,200 a month while in the process of making 300 homemade muffins.
“The judge has yet to approve it, but I’m learning to take life one day at a time,” she told Sneed in a phone interview in the midst of court-mandated community service in a Washington, D.C., food pantry for the homeless and families in need.
“I have learned to count every day as a blessing,” said Sandi Jackson, who finished serving a one-year sentence last October at Alderson, a minimum-security federal prison camp for women in West Virginia after pleading guilty to filing false income tax returns — following her husband’s release from federal prison in 2013 on federal corruption charges after 23 months of a 30-month sentence in a federal prison.
“So I find peace working here and chop veggies for soup with the other volunteers, who have no idea who I am . . . so I hope you won’t mention the location. I know it sounds strange, but there is beauty in watching muffins cool, and it reminds me every day of the great need for healthy food for homeless people who suffer in ways we cannot imagine.
“It keeps me grounded and it reminds me that even though I have been through a very difficult time, I am so fortunate in so many ways.”
Follow @sneedlingsThe couple’s divorce case is so contentious it has made headlines with each legal burp — although the Jacksons are still fighting over where the divorce case should be heard.
Sandi Jackson is hoping the case will be resolved in Washington, where she lives with the couple’s two children, aged 13 and 16.
Jesse Jackson is fighting to keep the case in Chicago, where his attorneys claim “acts” were committed that led to divorce.
Sandi Jackson refuses to comment publicly on the divorce, despite the vocality of her husband to the press questioning him following Chicago court hearings.
Jesse Jackson’s attorney, who filed the request to up the child support payment, told the Chicago Sun-Times this week the initial request to reduce the payment from $1,529 to $329 was “sincere and well-founded” but that it “should go back to $1,529.”
• The flip side: “If they are characterizing this as [Jesse] Jackson ‘volunteering’ to up the payment, then that is wrong,” said Chandra Walker Holloway, Sandi Jackson’s attorney in Washington, D.C.
“We were able to prove it was a miscalculation by the court through online computer calculations — and I was able to correct it by doing a long-hand calculation permitted by state statute — which showed the court why the math was wrong,” she said.
“It was Jesse Jackson’s request to reduce the child support payments when the Washington court issued an order March 9 reducing them from $1,539 a month to to $329 a month.
“We are still awaiting the judge’s order to approve the change.”
Whispers in the nave . . .
Pew news: Sneed hears Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, the Pope’s hand-picked prelate to oversee the nation’s third-largest archdiocese, is scheduled to unveil his plan Tuesday to help streamline the church’s effectiveness in dealing with the violence crippling our city.
Sneed hears the Cardinal, who has been in Rome at the Vatican, is also very supportive of the Rev. Michael Pfleger’s plea several years ago to ban guns from all archdiocese-owned buildings, which number in the hundreds.
• An exception: police officers.
Word is that support may be announced shortly.
Way to go, your eminence.
Holy cow, cow!
Legendary late sportscaster Harry Caray’s identical twin great-grandsons, Stefan and Harry “Chris” Caray IV, were spotted at Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse in River North to toast their famous great-grandfather. Their dad, Harry “Chip” Caray III, is the Atlanta Braves broadcaster.
Sneedlings . . .
I spy: Mayor Rahm Emanuel lunched on kale at Roanoke Restaurant on Tuesday afternoon. . . . Former Manchester United soccer star, and the newest addition to the Chicago Fire club, Bastian Schweinsteiger, spotted at Chicago Cut on Wednesday night with his wife and parents. . . . Today’s birthdays: Christopher Walken, 74; Al Gore, 69; and Shirley Jones, 83.
Correction: An earlier version of this column attributed a statement as being made by Sandi Jackson’s lawyer when, in fact, the statement was made by Jesse Jackson’s lawyer earlier this week.